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Fraternity Blamed for Hazing Death

CHICAGO (CN) - A Northern Illinois University student died of alcohol poisoning in a "Mom's Night" hazing ritual at Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, his father claims in court.

Fraternity pledge David Bogenberger, 19, died the night of or day after his Nov. 1, 2012 hazing, his father Gary Bogenberger claims in Cook County Court.

Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, its Pi Kappa Eta Nu Chapter, 22 fraternity members - but not the university - are named as defendants.

"On November 1, 2012, plaintiff's decedent David R. Bogenberger was a prospective member or pledge of the Pi Kappa Alpha Eta Nu Chapter at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois," the complaint states. "... [He] was directed by officers of the fraternity to participate in an initiation ritual at the Pi Kappa Alpha Eta Nu premises known as 'Mom's Night' as a condition to being accepted for membership in Pi Kappa Alpha Eta Nu fraternity, a valued status at Northern Illinois University."

That night, "David R. Bogenberger was given and told to drink dangerous and excessive amounts of alcohol by fraternity officers, members and others so that his blood alcohol level reached .43 mg/dl, whereupon he lost consciousness, was placed on a couch or bed in a room in the fraternity house designated for that purposed, and on the evening of November 1-2, 2012, died."

Bogenberger claims Pi Kappa Alpha "a) Failed to identify dangerous initiation rituals being undertaken by local Pi Kappa Alpha chapters, including Pi Kappa Alpha Eta Nu, which involved excessive an dangerous consumption of alcohol;

"b) Failed to warn local Pi Kappa Alpha chapters, including Pi Kappa Alpha Eta Nu, about the dangers and risks of alcohol related initiation rituals, although it knew, or should have known such rituals are often fatal;

"c) Failed to adopt reasonable and effective policies to be followed by its local fraternity chapters, including Pi Kappa Alpha Eta Nu, to prevent dangerous initiation rituals involving excessive and dangerous consumption of alcohol; [and]

"d) Failed to take reasonable steps to insure its local chapters, including Pi Kappa Alpha Eta Nu, followed policies and procedures it claimed to have adopted regarding initiations and hazing."

He claim the fraternity officers and members gave "Bogenberger alcohol after he had become obviously and dangerously intoxicated," and "failed to seek medical attention for plaintiff's decedent after he became dangerously intoxicated and unconscious."

He seeks damages for wrongful death.

He is represented by Peter Coladarci.

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